Thursday, December 31, 2009

The year that goes, the year that comes

This past year Continuing Anglicans have been barraged by two big news events. The first was the formation of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) under, as he is now, Archbishop Robert Duncan. The second came late in the year, the Roman initiative called Anglicanorum Coetibus, the "Apostolic Constitution" presented by Rome in response to Anglicans who want some sort of special consideration in the Roman Catholic Church.

In each case, the best response, that I am aware of, came from the Metropolitan of the Anglican Catholic Church, Archbishop Mark Haverland. Lest anyone accuse me of favoritism (since I believe I have made it clear that I both salute the uniform and have deep respect for the man himself- a happy situation for any priest regarding his bishop), I believe I would have recommended his responses even if I had not met him. Read them for yourself, and see if these responses do not speak for you too (clicking here and here).

Both of these events have made it necessary for Continuing Anglicans to reaffirm their basic principles. The ACNA is a sincere effort launched by Christians who want to do what is right; but, they begin with a house divided, and divided over an issue of no small importance, women's "ordination." In addition, they have even more of the modern revised "Anglicanism" in their system than they care to know. But, we pray for them that they will journey until they arrive where they belong.

The Roman Constitution appears to some as a generous offer, but in fact it is what may be called a unilateral contract. The dispute over who had more input, the FiF/UK people or the TAC, is misleading. The constitution is so very unilateral that no Anglican input is at all discernible. It is entirely a Roman Catholic product, a firm "no" to inter-communion, corporate union, uniate status, etc. It is a firm "no" followed by, "but here is what we do offer-take it or leave it." Generous from their perspective (quite sincerely), but empty from ours. Nonetheless, it is being celebrated with much enthusiasm, and with misinformation about its contents, potential and meaning. This has a level of sincerity too, but at some point reality must sink in.

Our response to these events has been simply to persuade as many of our readers as possible to Continue Continuing orthodox Anglican faith and practice. It has also been to post positive stories (such as this one) that remind our readers that we are a worldwide church, that we have a global presence, that we must attend to the mission field of the whole world. I do not mean only the ACC, but all Continuing Anglicans who also believe in world evangelism and the special mission of Anglican Christians to all mankind everywhere; and who may consider our efforts an extension of their own labors and success, if only by prayer.

Our message appears threatened by the apostasy and heresy of the Canterbury Communion, and by the movements that seek to create an attrition level among us. But, I have seen the other side; I have seen our Continuing Church embracing new people, and extending its power and message into the four corners of the earth. At home (in my case, America) I have seen a vibrant and healthy church, with that vitality quite apparent in various congregations that have people of all ages, including a good number of children and youth.

That vibrancy is to be found in Carefree Arizona, where Fr. Steven Dart of the Province of Christ the King continues to build a parish and a school (a school?-something to think about folks). It is to be seen in Alexandria Virginia., where Fr. Nick Athanaelos has to hold three services every Sunday morning to make room for all the families of that parish. It is visible in the home parish of Bishop William McClean in Charlotte Hall, Maryland, and also in Roanoke, Virginia at St Thomas of Canterbury; all of these are parishes where I have been present in recent years. And, here in Chapel Hill North Carolina, St. Benedict's has grown, with twenty-two new members since my arrival in March. Our Christmas Eve Children's pageant had about 14 excited children and "played to a packed house" in the parish hall.

I say these things to inspire your faith, to lift your eyes to see that the fields are white, ready to be harvested. Our adversaries (for that is what they choose to be) tell us that our whole portion of the Church will die off soon, and they tell everyone else that each congregation consists of only a handful of elderly people with no one else except for the over abundance of clergy within the rail. So they say, for so they would have it. Yes, we have a few small congregations that may not be around in a few years (who doesn't?); but we have a growing presence also. We need to believe that if we are faithful to that form of doctrine that has been handed down to us, as people of prayer who depend on the Holy Spirit, that we will inherit the Land, wherever we place the soles of our feet. We carry the message, the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, with the full apostolic power and authority of His Church, with gifts of the Holy Spirit.

So, here we will go on teaching and defending the best of Anglicanism, not as desperate people who are afraid of losing something, oh no; but as missionaries wherever we happen to live, spreading the truth to our neighbors, teaching our children, and supporting the foreign missions where our largest effort has begun already to be harvested. The gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church, and to the extent that we are faithful and believe, that means that we are on the offensive, occupying until he comes.


Deacon Down Under said...

Amen and amen! It is my prayer that in 2010 continuing Anglicans will take firm steps towards breaking down the ecclesial divisions amongst us, and like Fr. Hart I believe that the logical place to do that is under the Anglican Catholic Church's pallium.

The Roman offer in AC was not despicable or ill-intentioned. Benedict XVI is fighting pro-women's "ordination", with laywomen in albs already dispening communion in priestless parishes, while priests are reduced to mere mechanistic consecrators.

What Benedict failed to realise was that the only acceptable offer to Anglican Catholics - and I do not mean the addle-headed Anglicans in communion with Rowan Williams whose orders have been shattered since they "ordained" women anyway, but continuing Anglican Catholic Christians with a Uniate Church, accepting the validity of our orders, respecting our distinct patrimony, and traditions. For that we need our own bishops, our own diocese or exarchy and our own Metropolitan or Chief Hierarch.

Given that this has not happened, and as Fr. Hart has intimated, won't happen when so many liberal Roman bishops despise us, our ecumenical options are limited.

A united continuum is the best vehicle to gain credibility in dialogue with the Eastern Churches and Western Latin Patriarchate. But a united continuum should not occur just because this would advance Catholic and Apostolic unity.

A united continuum gives us a credible voice to counter the apostasy, heresy and schism of the Canterbury Communion, and associated breakaways like GAFCON.

For me the drawcard of achieving a united continuum is giving us the capacity, strength and mission potential to be the evangelical Church that we always have been, to demonstrate the beauty, the integrity and the validity of Catholic life within Anglican Catholic Christendom.

To the bishops, priests, deacons and laity of the non-ACC continuum I ask you to read the statements of our Metropolitan, as asked by Fr. Hart, and to see the warmth, the fellowship, the servanthood that is found within the Anglican Catholic Church.

From the ACC Diocese of Australia & New Zealand, a blessed and happy New year to all and the mercy of the Lord on the Feast of His Circumcision.

Anonymous said...

And the crazy thing is that there is such a great interest among evangelicals to look into our tradition. I've found they are eager to visit to see what all the hullabaloo is about: catholic but not Roman? traditional and biblical? Reformed but not truncated? These categories interest many Christians who didn't know such an option existed. The whole "emergent" church movement is proof that nature abhors a vacuum, and that our deepest longings for connectedness and reverent worship have not been completely obliterated. I think the ACC (among other faithful Anglican bodies) have a unique window of opportunity.

It's becoming a domino effect where I live. Evangelicals around me are excited about the possibilities of Anglicanism. 18-30 something's are visiting our parish because, among other things, they like what they read in Bishop Haverland's "Anglican Catholic Faith and Practice" book.

Exciting times indeed.

St. Worm

charles said...

It is encouraging news. I am glad APCK was included in the update, and I think schools, where space or property permits, is the way to go. I work for a christian academy in CA, and despite the recession student population is growing.

Meanwhile (I am beating a dead horse?), Section V of St. Louis directs creating relations with anti-WO Anglican/Episcopal clergy. My constant wish is for the ACC to be as pro-active with anti-WO ACNA clergy as we have been with ROCOR bishops. My reasoning is based on Anglican patrimony as understood by our common standards of prayer book and 39 articles. This patrimony, I believe, is primarily theological.

Regarding theological dangers-- Eastern churches not only want us to swallow seven councils (as they understand them,i.e., read Theodore the Studite) but also medieval and modern Orthodox ones. That means Augustine and Anglican adiaphora ('justification') goes out the door. This is really important because, if the Prayer book and 39 Articles properly define our catholicity, Anglicans indeed treat grace and tradition differently than the East.

While I am pro-WRO and certainly welcome relations with ROC/OR, I think more discernment is necessary when entreating Eastern churches. Our distinct theological patrimony doesn't automatically boil down to 'greek or eastern orthodoxy'. I believe this is often lost amongst the giddiness Eastern churches provoke due to their alleged/believed 'antiquity'. We Anglicans are just as old, but more importantly our theology is surer (?!).

In sum, I am bugging people for:

1. Discernment w/ respect to Eastern churches(e.g., a theological defense beyond 'branch theory', that includes 'justification' as applied to worship and grace, consequently explaining why we are not Antiochian or Russian), and...

2. Pro-action with respect to anti-WO clergy in ACNA#2, inviting discussion. These ex-Episcopalians and Anglicans deserve as much attention as we've given ROCOR... perhaps more.

RC Cola said...

Great post to start off the year right.
Your comment about the parish in Carefree, AZ with the school jumped out at me. While I cannot tell God what my vocation is or ought to be, I would be very pleased if He were to give me the chance to help the ACC build up schools. I started a small school back in 1995 with 2 students. It is now two schools, one with about 150 kids and the other with 120. It's quite fulfilling and I reckon that if these were ACC schools, they would be even more fulfilling.

Parish schools are terribly important because they feed our future parishes and vocations. You will be amazed how having a school--even a one-room school house style school--will bring new families to the parish. You would also be amazed how quickly you outgrow the one-room school house.

I envision every parish having a K-8 school and maybe clusters of parishes having high schools. I would hope that the ACC could eventually start a college similar to Christendom College (VA) or Thomas Aquinas College (CA).

Dare we dream so far as to think of a seminary? Or how about instead of men with a "late vocation" reading for orders, the ACC could offer a fully accredited and affordable distance MDiv or MA in Theology?

The point is is that "with God all things are possible." I hope and trust in God that we can rebuild Christendom right here at the parish level by making a commitment to Anglican-Catholic education.

Sorry, I know there was so much more to your post, but once I saw your aside about schools, I couldn't thin about anything else.

RC Cola
"comarimp" (naturally)

Deacon Down Under said...

A couple of comments on some great posts for the new year. Charles, I am not advocating that Anglican Catholics renounce our Anglicanism to be Western Orthodox. I am saying that the Eastern Churches have done more to come towards Anglicans in a spirit of respect and recognition than we ever have had from Rome or the Protestants, both of whom have always had their own agenda of changing us. If you read the Letter Patriarch Damianos of Jerusalem to the Archbishop of Canterbury you can see this:

" To His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, First Hierarch of All
England, our most beloved and dear brother in our Lord Jesus, Mgr.
Randall. Greeting fraternally your beloved to us, Grace, we have the
pleasure to address to you the following:
Yesterday we dispatched to Your Grace the following telegram: ‘We have pleasure inform Your Grace that Holy Synod of our Patriarchate after studying in several meetings question Anglican Orders from Orthodox point view resolved their validity.’ Today, explaining this telegram, we inform Your Grace that the Holy Synod, having as a motive the resolution passed some time ago by the Church of Constantinople, which is the
church having the First Throne between the Orthodox Churches, resolved that the consecrations of bishops and ordinations of priests and deacons of the Anglican Episcopal Church are considered by the Orthodox Church as having the same validity which the Orders of the Roman Church have, because there exist all the elements which are considered necessary from
an Orthodox point of view for the recognition of the grace of the Holy Orders from Apostolic Succession. We have great pleasure in communicating to Your Grace, as the First Hierarch of all the Anglican Churches, this resolution of our Church,which constitutes a progress in the pleasing-to-God work of the union of
all Churches, and we pray God to grant to Your Grace many years full of health and salvation. Damianos."

I am urging that we respond to the Eastern Churches with the same fraternal spirit of Christian love - not abandon what it is to be Anglican.

Second, RC, you have hit the nail on the head in regard to schools. We are fighting militant secularism, atheism or the Gospel of Protestant "God is a God who will make you wealthy if you ask Him" and the education of the young is the way forward to make new generations of Anglican Catholics, young vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Finally, as St. Worm notes, many people are seeking Christianity that is deeply authentic, which is Biblical, and yet which taps into the life in Christ in profound and sacramental ways. The mission fields are our own cities and counties, the dispossessed, the homeless, the suffering, and the message we have is clear and bright and full of hope.

Anonymous said...

Why bicker about the fate of "former Anglicans" when the fate of what is surely the largest body of post-PECUSA Anglicans is at stake?

Why not support the men who are battling against WO in the trenches of the ACNA, should the Continuum fear what a victory for orthodoxy would mean for the future of Anglicanism in America?

Could it be that though the words of St. Louis live, the spirit is dead among those who still claim it?

Fr. Robert Hart said...


No. My post here tells what I have seen, that it is not dead. And, I am sure we do support the men in the ACNA who battle against WO.I support them and pray for them, and hope they prevail so that their new church jurisdiction may become orthodox. We all want that.

Canon Tallis said...

The best thing which all of us could do - actually can do - is to be, not only in our hearts but in our daily actions as Anglican as possible. We need to pray the prayer book, all of it and not simply one section. We need to read and preach the Bible, first in our lives and then from the pulpit.

I am personally in awe of the time, effort and attention which the owners of this blog give to it. By what they do and have done, they bear up all our spirits and send us back into the daily with renewed clarity and energy to do what sometimes seems the impossible. So many forces seem gathered to effect the distruction of traditional and orthodox classical Anglicanism, but this little, but hopefully expanding band of brothers are renewing all our hearts for the struggle in the coming year and decade.

Let today and every day be another in our work of converting, first the English speaking world, and then the rest to the Catholic faith of the earliest centuries as our fathers-in-God attempted to do so for us.

Mark said...

As the father of 3 of the 14 children who participated in St. Benedict's Christmas pageant, I can add a hearty "amen" to this post. The Lord is doing some wonderful things in the Continuing Church and I very much look forward to the year ahead. I encourage all the readers of the Continuum to check out the website for the Carefree, Arizona school Fr. Hart mentioned, St. Augustine's Academy. St. Augustine's follows an educational model often referred to as "Classical & Christian Education" and is part of a national group of schools known as the Association of Classical & Christian schools. These schools find inspiration in the medieval concept of the Trivium as articulated especially by Dorothy Sayers in her essay "The Lost Tools of Learning". While the majority of the schools in the association are connected with conservative reformed churches several are Anglican and all teach in a fashion that fits quite well the Anglican way of being Christian. My own children attend such a school, the Bradford Academy in Mebane, North Carolina, which is just a short distance form St. Benedict's. Despite the non-conformist name, the Bradford Academy is doing amazing work and I am sure that St. Augustine's Academy will do the same. While not every local Continuing church can consider starting such a school, praying for such schools is easy. If we are to be serious about the passing on of the Faith and of our own particular traditions, robust education of our children must lead the charge.

My html is awful, so below are some URLs:

St. Augustine's Academy,

Association of Classical & Christian Schools,

The Lost Tools of Learning,

Bradford Academy,

-Mark Newsome

charles said...

hello Fr. Hart and Fr. Hollister,

I was reading the ACC constitution and canons last night and came upon something curious. I did not know how to understand the following regarding church common law:

"Title II. Canon 2.1: This Church submits itself and subscribes to the Seven Holy Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Primitive Catholic Church...received, accepted, and the Church of England through the year 1543..." (p.4)

Under Canon 2.2, Matters not expressly legislated herein, it says, "Any matters not expressly legislated by or provided for by the Constitution and Canons of this Church...shall be referred to and be subject to the General Canon Law and the Common Law of the Church as received by the Church of England in its estates in convocation assembled as specified by the Acts of Parliament of 1534 and 1543, or any and all other Anglican laws Ecclesiastical in effect in part or parts of North America or elsewhere prior to 1967"

I understand section 2.2 to deal mostly with discipline but 2.1 (seven councils and others) seems to touch on a lot more. What is so significant about the 1543 date? Why not 1559, 1571, 1604, 1640, or 1662? This is very curious (especially section 2.1).

I've been told its rather accurate to say the 39 Articles define our reception of catholicism in England, understood not through divines on the continent, but by English standards. But it really, really sounds like 2.1 is saying we understand catholic reception, up to and including, by Henrician documents-- 10 articles, Bishop's book, King's book, and 6 articles? Is Henry a kind of Anglo-Catholic 'cut-off point'?

Regarding ACNA (anti-WO) bishops, I was just saying we should pray, but also be pro-active. We have as much reason to invite and dialogue with certain ACNA clergy as we do ROCOR. We also have the example of Bp. Jonah, showing us 'talking' doesn't mean ACNA gets off the hook without enormous criticism. But if we pray silently in our rooms without the charity of dialogue and pro-active engagement, we won't be building any foundation for future 'like-mindedness', and we may be missing a critical juncture where Schori might rout, realignment of forces, etc. It's not 1977...very different factors are at play.

Anyway, more curious about section 2.1, p. 4.

Anonymous said...

"Why not support the men who are battling against WO in the trenches of the ACNA, should the Continuum fear what a victory for orthodoxy would mean for the future of Anglicanism in America?"

And why cannot and should not this question be asked in reverse?


Anonymous said...

I am scratching my head in disbelief, since even after a second reading I agree with everything that has been said so far in these comments, save the one to which Fr H. firmly said "No."

If one keeps up with the Continuum churches in our parishes and smaller congregations, the continuing vitality is amazing. I firmly believe that our calling at least for the foreseeable future is to achieve unity within and among ourselves. In ALL the Continuum jurisdictions, not only the three directly descending from the Denver/Chambers consecrations, but in others as well, such as the ACA, APA, DHC, EMC, XnEC, and possibly others, we see good priests, strong parishes, splendid Christian laity. Whatever can be done to develop friendships and positive relationships with these fellow traditional Anglicans should be our first priority, rather than looking to the Tiber or the Bosporus.

I also am coming to feel that we should be a bit more open and positive to the orthodox elements in ACNA, who may well be the majority there. Some time ago Fr Hollister laboriously refuted a document originating in Plano TX which pretended to justify WO. Well, as a matter of fact, the "ordination" of the proposed Plano priestess was called off. How much this blog impacted that affair will never be known. But I am not aware of a single female "ordination" in ACNA since its foundation. No reason not to make friends with the folks. Here's an idea: how about a gift subscription to The Trinitarian to your local ACNA priest? It surely wouldnt hurt.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not ready for a praise band or female chalice-bearers.
But the movement I detect in ACNA is headed in a better direction. They deserve our prayers, not our brickbats.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Wells,

The very words "praise band" make me shudder. :)

Happy New Year, good Father.

St. Worm

Anonymous said...

I went back reread every comment and could find no brickbats.
My comment stems from memory of many of the constituents of the ACNA dismissing the CC not the other way round.

I hope they are successful in casting off innovations. I do recall that in the not to distant past a series of contacts, bypassing our bishops, were made by the new continuers directly to a number of parishes of the established Continuum looking to see if we would abandon our folly and join in their new movement. I am I wrong here or does anyone else recall these contacts? Only about a year or so ago. Since then I can't recall anyone in the ACNA making any overtures to our jurisdictions or giving us much the time of day.


Fr. Robert Hart said...

I do recall that in the not too distant past a series of contacts, bypassing our bishops, were made by the new continuers directly to a number of parishes of the established Continuum looking to see if we would abandon our folly and join in their new movement. I am I wrong here or does anyone else recall these contacts?

I remember, and I have been critical of that action on the part of the ACNA right here on this blog. I hope that they will see that writing to the churches directly, bypassing our bishops, was arrogant, and that they committed an offense against Catholic order and the peace of the Church. I want to believe, as well, that they would not even think that way anymore, but instead recognize that it was very wrong. As far as I know they gleaned not so much as one of our parishes away

RC Cola said...

Where does the Orthodox Anglican Church fit into the Continuing scheme of things?
According to their website, they were founded in 1967, and from what I have read, they are very much along the same lines as the ACC and other continuing churches with which I am more familiar. That is, all-male priesthood, the 39 Articles, 1928 BCP, first seven councils, etc., etc.
But I never seem to hear anything about them.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

They have repented of their origin, at the hands of a racist named Bishop James Parker Dees, whose objections to the Episcopal Church included its support for racial integration. We have nothing to do with what he stood for, and find it repugnant. But, as I say, they have repented.

Deacon Down Under said...

LKW is laudable in urging CC to be charitable towards the more orthodox within ACNA. Can anyone please enlighten me why Bishop Duncan and the others did not simply join the ACC or another orthodox Continuing Church rather than start another jurisdiction?

Combine that move which at least appears to be very deprecatory of the Anglican continuum, and the wide-range of views from pro-women "priests" to those staunchly against it, and I am further perplexed.

There was no need whatsoever of anyone leaving ECUSA to go anywhere else except to a continuing jurisdiction with valid Chambers orders.

Deacon Down Under said...

The other thing about the ACNA is that at best it is another local United States of America Anglican jurisdiction, lacking the worldwide presence of the TAC or ACC. Does the US need the ACNA?

Anonymous said...

Alan, since you could not find any brickbats toward the ACNA, you evidently wish to throw one yourself.

Yes, we all recall the recent period when the neo-Anglicans were making overtures toward us which did not proceed through proper channels. I myself was the object of such attention. I was invited to a series of planning sessions/pep rallies of the Anglican Alliance of North Florida, all of which I attended and made a few friends. The invitations promptly ceased, when in my normal engaging style I made it clear that WO for me was non-negotiable and female "sacraments" are utterly invalid.

But which Continuum jurisdiction has not made mistakes in the past? And what has ever been gained by hanging on to grudges, however justified these grudges may be? There is some evidence (such as the ACNA parish my son attends) that they are rediscovering their roots and better traditions. They appear to have fewer priestesses and no new ones.

The greatest weakness of ACNA (apart from WO) is their tendency to think in terms of the mega-church, Rick Warrensque, model. This leads them to take a patronizing view of us, perceiving the Continuing churches as "two old maids and a cat." When they come to grips with their own situation of small struggling congregations, they will surely come to a better mind.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Alan did not throw a brick bat, but raised a matter of fact. The ACNA did start out with that arrogant attitude, actually demanding pride of place over Continuing bishops as if their association with Canterbury put them in a superior role or "more valid" place. They treated our bishops with utter disrespect by their mailing of invitations to the parishes. From what I have seen, they have, since then, crashed into some of the hard rocks of reality and learned not to have that attitude, and, it has only been less than a year.

Also, I suspect (and always have) that Bp. Duncan was not consulted about those mailed invitations. I have always suspected that some zealous person or persons ran ahead of him and acted without authority.

Fr. John said...

At least one ACNA priest has signed on to the Affirmation of St. Louis.

Anonymous said...

Always quick to try to start something where there is nothing to start LKW!

No, I threw no brickbat. There is no reason for me to pretend there is a gulf between the new and old "continuers" anymore than it would be fitting to pretend the Apostolic Constitution is something it is not. The issue is important as any on the table with any other church as it demonstrates how very different they perceive themselves and their church structure as well as those outside of them.
The brickbat was deciding our Episcopate matters not.


John A. Hollister said...

I agree with all of Fr. Wells' comment except this: "I am not aware of a single female 'ordination' in ACNA since its foundation."

Last year, a couple of weeks prior to ACNA's big meeting to celebrate its organization, Abp. Duncan "ordained" several women -- somehow the number seven sticks in mind. In fact, these "ordinations" were originally planned for the big event itself but for reasons unexplained were moved up.

I was unaware until now that the planned "ordination" in Plano was called off but would be curious to know if that was a permanent thing or merely a postponement.

John A. Hollister+

Anonymous said...

So I made an irenic suggestion that we try to be nice to ACNA, and I get accused to "starting something."

Alan opines, "No, I threw no brickbat."

So what is the point of bringing up an old grudge approximately a year old? It may be a fact, but it is old news. If we want ACNA to think well of us and to listen to our concerns regarding WO, etc, we would do well to take a more mature (translate: less childish) approach.

I regret that I joined this thread and will retire from it herewith.

Fr. Robert Hart said...


Fr. Wells' irenic suggestion is good, and Alan's fact is undeniable.I see no reason for either of you to take offense. The fact is the ACNA started off with an arrogant attitude, and we have reason to be cautious. The other fact is, we want them to come around, and pray for them to do so.

So, as the old TV ad says, "where's the beef?" Let's agree to pray for them, want the best for them, and be realistic about them without bitterness.

Canon Tallis said...

Friends of mine who in two separate ways seem to belong to ACNA went to the huge service they had to start things off and were both offended in the number of female ministers which Duncan used during that service. They apparently were everywhere doing everything and more than a few of the people who had traveled great distances and at more than a little expense were very unhappy. This point is supposed to have been conveyed to Duncan very strongly by a number of the others and the service which followed in Texas was quite different but followed almost immediately by the Christ Church paper advocating WO. In our area churches which had formerly placed themselves under the Argentine are now in the process of migrating to Fort Worth which I see as an improvement.

But there can and will be no real improvement until they rid themselves of the use of the '79 book and find their way backwards or forwards to something much more orthodox in liturgy.

Alan said...

"So what is the point of bringing up an old grudge approximately a year old? It may be a fact, but it is old news. If we want ACNA to think well of us and to listen to our concerns regarding WO, etc, we would do well to take a more mature (translate: less childish) approach".

What is the point of getting worked up over anything? How about the phrase "utterly null and void" or Lay Presidency or Women's Ordination (Plano sought to send women to Rwanda for ordination to beat the restrictions)or Deerfield Beach or Episcopal Baptisms or questioning Confirmations after a given year or performed under the so called 79 prayer book? They are issues all certainly older than a year- should we suspend our memories on these issues as well and convert, or join in with Sydney or just go back to the TEC? Should we have a different standard among ourselves but suspend such when considering ACNA or others?

An important point the contributors of this blog have unanimously and repeatedly expressed is unity must be based on truth and clarity and discussion of differences, real and perceived, is how to bridge gaps. Fr. Hart believes the issue may have been perpetrated by unnamed zealous individuals: a plausible scenario. But before we can seriously consider cooperation we should question (our own fragmentation first) whether these people understand Catholic Order, do they actually have it and do they desire it?

I for one would love to see the ACNA and the Continuing Church cooperate and maybe someday in the future our differences can be put in the past. This blog is a place to discuss such things but is no substitute for ACNA Bishops calling ours and offering an olive branch and vise versa of course. And if given the opportunity in person, I would ask Bishop Duncan about the incidents.

Having been a member of Fr. Kim's blog I have watched the formation of that group for years and they have taken most every shot at us they can think of -“we have more bishops than lay people” (now that they have ‘out ordained’ us due to their own internal needs perhaps they understand the necessity of having bishops to serve far flung parishes) so again just who has thrown brickbats?

We can pray for cooperation, union and the end to division but we cannot forget the circumstances until they be resolved. Can Fr. Wells say those individuals who sought to by-pass our bishops (and ignore the norms of orthodox Episcopal oversight and poaching as set forth in the Councils) have been reprimanded? Did Bishop Duncan bother to call and apologize for the action? Maybe, but while I knew of the attempt to rustle sheep I never heard any request for forgiveness or any expressed humility on the part of those that engaged in the behavior and one has to ask is that behavior towards us acceptable and normative in their community.

Again, I fail to see how asking these things can rationally be seen as a “brickbat” or as childish.

John A. Hollister said...

David Gould asked, "Can anyone please enlighten me why Bishop Duncan and the others did not simply join the ACC or another orthodox Continuing Church rather than start another jurisdiction?"

There may be a number of factors in play, including (1) the desire to develope a structure that could make alliances with "official" Lambeth Communion Provinces and so lay the groundwork to argue, in U.S. lawsuits over diocesan and parish properties, that those who withdraw from PECUSA have left only an optional administrative structure but have not "left the communion" of the Anglican Communion.

Other reasons undoubtedly include (2) the determination to continue "ordaining" women (you will recall that Bp. Duncan wrote a letter to Katie Jefferts-Schori, stating that he adhered to all of the Church's traditional beliefs except that which restricts ordination to males); and (3) a firm commitment to the 1979 "Prayer Book".

Then, of course, there are more subtle factors which could be in play -- perhaps they are not with Bp. Duncan, but they certainly are with many PECUSAns -- such as the general derision with which, for 30-some years, PECUSANs have viewed those who were so impolite, impolitic, and antisocial as to leave the Episcopal tea party to set up new jurisdictions.

Heresy and apostasy are tolerable under certain conditions, but being unclubbable never is.

John A. Hollister+